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Deputy United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis continued his visit to Southeast Asia with a wide range of meetings in Brunei on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other bilateral trade and investment issues. Brunei is one of the nine members of the TPP.
Ambassador Marantis held a broad discussion of the U.S.-Brunei trade and investment relationship today with Prince Mohamed, Brunei's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Ambassador Marantis highlighted the importance of joint efforts to conclude the high-standard TPP, per the goal set by President Obama, the Sultan, and the seven other TPP leaders at the APEC meetings in Honolulu last November. He also looked forward to further positive cooperation with Brunei on bilateral, ASEAN, and APEC issues.
During his two day visit to Brunei, Ambassador Marantis also met with senior government officials responsible for TPP issues, including Minister of Development Pehin Suyoi, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Roselan, Deputy Finance Minister Dato Bahrin, and Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Dato Majid. In addition, Ambassador Marantis met with Brunei's chief TPP negotiator, Dato Jock Hoi, where he engaged in comprehensive discussions on the full range of issues being considered as part of the TPP. He underscored the importance of ambitious outcomes in key areas such as labor, environment, and intellectual property rights. He called attention to the need for improved market access offers, including in important sectors of services and investment.
Ambassador Marantis and Brunei's chief TPP negotiator, Dato Jock Hoi
Ambassador Marantis, Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Dato Majid and U.S. Ambassador Dan Shields
Ambassador Marantis also had the opportunity to engage with representatives of the U.S. business community in Brunei, and expressed optimism about further growth in bilateral trade and investment as Brunei continues to open and diversify its economy.
Ambassador Marantis is now headed to Manila, where he will discuss the range of issues affecting the U.S.-Philippines bilateral trade relationship.